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Didactic Transactional Analysis Approach to the Treatment of the Incarcerated Murderer

NCJ Number
Corrective and Social Psychiatry and Journal of Behavior Technology Methods and Therapy Volume: 30 Issue: 4 Dated: (1984) Pages: 100-106
E E Habeck; G E Brown; R L Cohn
Date Published
7 pages
After a general discussion of aggression, a hypothesis After a general discussion of aggression, a hypothesis of aggression, and the treatment of aggressives, this paper discusses the treatment of 11 murderers using a didactic transactional approach (TA).
The inmates, incarcerated at the United States Disciplinary Barracks, were divided into two groups. Both groups received treatment once a week for 14 weeks, and both had the same group leader; however, the leader observed different processes in each group. The treatment included handouts covering TA concepts, homework assignments involving thought exercises, situational role playing with a focus on dealing with frustration, member participation exercises, and summation of the process and dynamics involved. The effectiveness of the treatment was measured by administering the Rosenzweig Picture-Frustration Study to both groups before and after the treatment, as well as to a control group of 14 inmates. The findings of the pretest and posttest indicate that each treatment group improved its knowledge of the TA material introduced. The program was found to increase the conventionality of the inmate's extraggressive reactions to frustration. Further, a pattern of decreased deviant extraggressive reactions to frustration was observed. Although the program was successful in facilitating inmate acquisition of new and more appropriate responses, it was not so successful in suppressing old deviant< responses. Changing the treatment program to emphasize the identification and correction of specific inmate deviant extraggressive responses is recommended. One table and 15 references are included.


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